Tuesday, July 27, 2010

America Now

Ann Curry's Dateline report on Sunday evening brought many tears to my eyes. 

You need to see it hereIt is very important work and it is real.

This is what we see every day.  It is what we've seen every day for the past 16 years.

I confess:  these experiences completely define my life and worldview.

Request: resist any temptation to judge.  Decide to simply settle into the reality. 

Then, decide to do something about it.


Dean Smith said...

This situation has been brewing for years. All it needed was an economic crisis like the one that began three years ago to get our attention. Now it's time to pull together and create a new America, just like our grandparents did eighty years ago.

Anonymous said...

It breaks your heart and it radicalizes you. It makes you want to demand an immediate solution.

For those in the fight--don't burn out and don't give up; don't give up on the poor, on the people turning a blind eye, on the people "legislating" poverty or on God. It takes all of us, and it will take a very, very long time.

Work from the top and the bottom of the pyramid. Fight for legislative and systemic change and at the same time reach out and grab one hand and commit to helping change one life.

Anonymous said...

Obama is making things worse, for generations to come. The best thing to do is vote him out in 2012

I would like to hear your comment on the lavish lifestyles of the Clintons, Obamas and Kerrys. What do you think of the 3-5 million dollar wedding coming up? I'm sure they aren't paying for it themselves.

Oh and remember, Nov. 2 is put out the trash day.

Larry James said...

The contrast in attitdue and heart between the first two notes above and the 3rd are marked. I'm asking myself, in which spirit are solutions to be found. Seems clear to me.

Anonymous said...

This video is the face of rural white poverty. 'Been around ever since the beginnings of this country, way back in the 1600's. Back then poor whites were indentured servants, who had to buy their way out after a term of at least seven years labor. The rich whites exploited them then, and the rich whites today (read: coal mine and timber owners) are still doing the same thing.

In regards to the third post (the anonymous Obama hater), I could take you to some other places in rural Appalachia, rural Mississippi, or hey, even rural Dallas County TX, where this stuff has been going on for years. Poor whites ain't nothin' new.

The difference today is that the system, which has always disenfranchised and hurt poor whites, African-Americans, Indigenous Peoples, and Mexicans (albeit certainly not in the same ways - because rich whites got poor whites to buy into the racialized system, of whites vs. everyone else, in order to exploit them too), is increasingly hurting middle-class white people. These MCWP folks, who have always bought into the system - played by its rules, like working hard, hating and discriminating against minorities, and etc. - are now getting hurt by the system. Wonder of wonders - the system don't work. Any one of the people of color in the list above could have told you that. If only the poor whites would look beyond Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, and etc., and recognize it too. Good morning, America, how are ya'?!?

Note: Jesus Christ didn't have more than one set of clothes to His name. No camel (transportation), no house, no possessions to speak of. He wasn't white, either. Why do white Americans always think that Jesus has to be fit into white Capitalistic boots?

Anonymous said...

"These MCWP folks, who have always bought into the system - played by its rules, like working hard, hating and discriminating against minorities, and etc. - are now getting hurt by the system. "

Both my grandfathers were coal miners with less than a 6th grade level education. One of them could not write his name or make change. My dad moved north to work in factories. He had a high school diploma and attained a B-level electician's license. I earned several advanced degrees and have worked for several major educational institutions as a faculty member and administrator. I think the system worked pretty well. Although I did not receive any grants or scholarships to help pay my way.

I learned a lot about hard work from my family - including how to share with those of little means. Some people believe I have been "lucky" or blessed by God in some unusual way. Others who meet me often think I am from a wealthy family because of my job title, address, and personal attire.

Truth is, I made a lower wage in my first white-collar job than I did in my summer college job working the midnight shift in an auto factory. I have moved many times for better jobs, attended night school many years, lived in apartments instead of buying homes, bought used instead of new cars, and waited to start a family to ensure my children would be well cared for.

I did follow the rules of hard work and sacrifice. Now I make enough money to pay my way as well as that of several other families through an heavily tilted tax policy. Of course, that's not enough to solve all of society's problems, so now the liberals want to redistribute my obviously ill-gotten wealth to the less fortunate - after the funds pass through their own hands, first.

I am interested, anonymous (Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:37:00 PM CDT), in what you think I should do with my voice and my vote. Should I vote democrat? Should I march with the poor? Should I support global warming? Should I send Larry a check? I think the "system" works - as long as people are willing to work.